98,000 words in the bag. Five or six chapters to go on the first draft. The gear list hadn’t been a long one, so when the plane landed in Fort Myers, Florida, he walked off with his carry-on and didn’t even pause at the baggage claim. He headed straight for the ground transportation doors, his bag slung over one shoulder. Spotting the group was fairly easy. Men in the contracting world have a certain look, and there were at least a dozen there on the curb who had it. All of them were of a certain age, fairly fit for the most part, short hair while still being outside of military regulation, some beards, jeans or khakis, collared shirts. Granted, some broadcast their “contractor” status more openly than others, sporting coyote tan backpacks, 5.11 shirts, tan desert boots, expensive Oakley sunglasses, and often worn, sweat-stained ballcaps in either tan or green, with velcro and patches on them. Those were generally the guys that Dan found he disliked. They were usually, though not always, more interested in projecting the tough-guy contractor image than actually being professionals. There were a few others hanging around that he suspected were probably there for the
The draft has just passed 85k words. It’s coming along quick now. So here’s the second chapter, to continue whetting the appetite. Chapter 2 Four Months Earlier Amy and Tom were already outside on the curb waiting when Dan Tackett pulled up to the daycare center. It was already dark, and the clock numbers on his truck’s dash shone accusingly at him. It was already almost eight at night. Sandra Crawford was standing on the curb behind the kids, a stiffly impassive look on her face. He parked the truck, grabbed the envelope off the dashboard, and got out. It was time to pay the daycare bill already, and he mused bitterly that every cent he made working extra hours was going into paying for those extra hours at child care. “Good evening, Mr. Tackett,” Sandra said stiffly, disapproval at his lateness in every word. “I trust you know what time it is.” The Happy Circle Child Care Center was supposed to close at seven, and he was just getting there to pick up the kids at fifty minutes past that. “Yes, Sandra, I do know what time it is,” he replied tiredly. “Work went late tonight. I couldn’t afford
Since I did a bit of an Area Brief for Kill Yuan, I thought I’d give a little run-down of most of the weapons used in the novel. Since this isn’t a Praetorian novel, things are going to be a little different. Graphics heavy post ahead, because who doesn’t like a little gun porn?
Since Kill Yuan is set in an AO I haven’t ventured into before, I thought it might be useful to set out a bit of an orientation. The setting is the South China Sea, recently the scene of extensive maritime territorial disputes between China, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Other countries have become peripherally involved (including the US), to include Indonesia and Malaysia. To get a bit of a picture of the overall geography of the disputes, here’s a map: As part of its program of expanded influence, China has not only been expanding its naval presence in the Spratlys and the Paracels, but it has actually been building artificial islands to further cement its claims. A good brief of the overall situation by the BBC is here.
So, I’ve been keeping this project reasonably quiet while waiting for The Walker on the Hills to release. However, I’ve made some pretty decent progress so far; seven chapters of the first draft are done already. Some of you may remember I talked some time ago about a project in part inspired by the game Far Cry 3. As I played that one, I kept thinking, “Sneaking through the jungle slaughtering pirates is fun, but this story is kind of dumb. It feels like it was written by somebody who’s never actually been outside of a game development studio. I bet I could do better.” A later interview with the main writer, where he was going on about how “meta” it was (something that nobody who played it apparently picked up on), only cemented my contempt for the story. Game’s still fun. Story’s crap. So was born Kill Yuan.
It is live! The Devil You Don’t Know is now available for purchase on all platforms. I’m hoping that some of you have already delved in and gotten hooked. http://www.amazon.com/Devil-Dont-Know-American-Praetorians-ebook/dp/B00V56OFQI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1435075644&sr=8-3&keywords=peter+nealen http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-devil-you-dont-know-peter-nealen/1122107089?ean=2940151965682 Thanks to the pre-orders, it’s up pretty far on the Amazon Kindle sales ranks right now, hitting the top 100 in both Organized Crime and Military thrillers.
Since I’m reading through the rough draft of Henry Brown’s next book (It’s good), I thought I’d go back and review his first, Hell and Gone. Hell and Gone is set just before the opening of Operation Iraqi Freedom, in 2003. The CIA has gotten wind of one of the suitcase nukes that Aleksandr Lebed warned about in the ’90s. It’s in AQ hands, in Sudan. Commander “Rocco” Cavarra, a former SEAL, is hired to head a team of soldiers-for-hire to go in and secure the warhead. The team is a Dirty Dozen/band of misfits crew. There are some serious personality clashes that ring true to an ad hoc unit thrown together at the last minute. On the book’s website, Hank compares the book to “The Expendables.” I’d argue that it’s better. The scenario is certainly better thought-out, and involves real-world factions, including the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and the Sudanese Janjaweed militias. The characters also have more in common with real-world veterans than Hollywood stereotypes of mercenaries. The action is well thought-out and engaging. The final few chapters are well worth the build up, and will keep you flipping pages. The prose does have a few rough edges, but